Media reports revealing that Minister James Reilly was warned by officials that his plans to dismantle the health service were simply unworkable, raise serious questions for the Government.

Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD commented: “The revelations last night and this morning are very serious.  A senior Government Minister was told in very stark terms to stop doing what he was doing because of the damage he was causing, but he and all his colleagues, from the Taoiseach down continued to insist to citizens that everything in the garden was rosy and that their plans were on track.

“It raises fundamental questions about the honesty of the Government and must surely put pressure on James Reilly’s continued participation in Government.

“The other obvious consequence is that this Government’s entire health policy agenda is now in tatters.  Their plan made no sense, was unworkable and has now collapsed.  In the three and half years it took to demonstrate that fact, tens of thousands of families have had to go through the misery of the medical card cull, hospital chiefs have had to go public to warn about the effect Government policy was having on patient safety and morale within the health service has taken a battering.

“Now, we have a minister who appears to have no plan at all, except to try to distance himself from the damage his colleague caused.

“We need to hear quickly from Government on why they continued to insist that their health reforms were working, even as they had collapsed and we need to hear from the new Minister on what plans he actually has.”